24 Jan 12. A-T Solutions Inc., a global, industry-leading anti- and counterterrorism professional solutions firm headquartered in the Washington, D.C., area, announced has opened a new office in Missouri in order to ensure outstanding delivery of counterterrorism training for the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence to help counter the improvised explosive devices threat to our military forces. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)
30 Jan 12. If the Pentagon didn’t already have Congress’ attention for its appeal to prevent next year’s round of automatic budget cuts, it does now. Thursday’s “preview” of this year’s Defense Department budget submission included the reappearance of one of Capitol Hill’s most dreaded four-letter words: “BRAC.” The Base Closure and Realignment process might be necessary, Pentagon officials warned, if the military services shrink as much as now planned, or more. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the DoD’s $487bn in reduced budget growth over the next decade, and the threat of another $500bn in automatic growth reductions next January, might mean another round of base closures would be inevitable.
“As a result of all this, we will also need to look at facilities
infrastructure, balancing overseas forward presence requirements with basing requirements back home. In this budget environment, we simply cannot sustain the infrastructure that is beyond our needs or ability to maintain,” Panetta said.
The re-emergence of BRAC may have been as much a political gambit as a
straightforward notice that the DoD might have to decrease its footprint around the U.S. A day after Panetta’s announcement, the chiefs of the two biggest military services were split on whether they’d be affected by another BRAC, and made clear they were well away from making any decisions about the future of their bases. In fact, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said that even as his service plans to draw down 80,000 troops over the next six years, he didn’t think that would require any major posts to close. Yet Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said he feared the Air Force could be hit hard by a new BRAC despite its plans to reduce its force on a much smaller scale — about 10,000 Airmen. But whether the need is real or not, the mention of “BRAC” was radioactive in Congress, where it brought back memories of bitter competition between lawmakers trying to protect bases in their districts or dealing with the after-effects of closed or consolidated DoD facilities. The Pentagon’s gamble may be that another BRAC is so unpleasant to contemplate that lawmakers would consider protecting it from next January’s “sequestration” as a viable compromise. Members of Congress in both houses wasted no time making clear that any talk of another round of BRAC closures was a non-starter. (Source: Military.com)
24 Jan 12. Fincantieri shipyard at Muggiano recently launched the
“Ganthoot”, the first of two stealth patrol vessels included in the “Falaj 2” program in progress for the United Arab Emirates Navy who ordered them in 2010. The ship, whose name comes from a geographical area in the Emirates in the neighbourhood of Abu Dhabi, will be delivered in the last half of 2012. The launch ceremony, which was attended by the Deputy Commander of the Emirate Naval Forces, His Highness Sheikh Saeed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, the Italian head of Fincantieri’s Naval Business Unit, Angelo Fusco, the Commander-in-Chief of Maridipart La Spezia, Admiral Andrea Campregher and representatives from the shipyard’s management, started with the customary recital of the Koran and, following the official speeches, the traditional breaking of the bottle.
Capable surpassing 20 knots, the “Falaj 2” program patrol vessels are 55 metres long with a beam of 8.60 metres and can accommodate a crew of 28. (Source: ASD Network)
13 Jan 12. Stanaxe patrol vessel takes a bow in Cape Verde. The Cape Verde Coast Guard (Guardia Co